income taxes and are dependent on government. so romney went on the offensive. >> the president has a view very similar to the view he had when he ran four years ago, that a bigger government, spending more, taxing more, regulating more, if you will, trickle-down government, would work. that's not the right answer for america. >> reporter: veteran journalist jim lehrer moderated the debate. he focused most of his questions on the economy. obama criticized what he called romney's $5 trillion tax cut. >> how we pay for that, reduce the deficit, and make the investments that we need to make without dumping those costs on to middle-class americans i think, is one of the central questions of this campaign. >> reporter: romney said he had no intention of introducing such big cuts. he shot back with repeated references to the unemployment rate, 8.1%.